Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 1.5 Ethics, 2.1 Creating, 2.5 Ethics, 3.5 Ethics, 3.6 Diversity of Learners, 4.5 Ethics

Web Accessibility

For this EDTECH502 assignment, we were tasked with researching and creating a web page about web accessibility. This is an area of web development that I am passionate about. While I have compassion and understanding for those with disabilities, my passion is more on the development side. Having worked for years with some of the top web developers in the area, I was frequently surprised at how NON-compliant the code would be. It is often easier and quicker to cut corners and skip accessibility guidelines but in my opinion, that just makes your code sloppy and unprofessional.

The assignment was pretty straightforward. For the HTML portion of the lesson, we worked on links, both external and internal as well as the CSS styling of links. Of course I put just a smidgin extra in and built a CSS nav.. but it was truly just a smidgin.

You can check out my web accessibility page here.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating

My Classroom Netiquette

The assignment is to create a web page of netiquette rules for your students. One objective is to explore netiquette and how it can be applied to my practice. Another objective is to explore more HTML/CSS.

I ended up keeping mine pretty generic because I teach multiple courses in varied subjects. The process had me scouring the Internet looking to see what other people have done. It didn’t take much research to find the voice I wanted to use and the points I wanted to hit. I imagine I will update this over time as priorities in classroom management change.

The HTML/CSS portion of the project was fun, just like last week. I am still a bit rusty and I don’t have enough man hours to make something spectacular just now but I’ve got some really good pages to begin with and build on. I definitely plan on adding this to my courses next year.

Go ahead and check it out.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge)

Using RSS for Education

What is RSS?

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary but is often called Really Simple Syndication. It is a format used for sites to deliver their regularly changing or updated content. You can think of an RSS feed as an export of the content of a web site without having to go the the actual web site.

Check out this short video where Rich Bonaduce explains what RSS is: 

How do I even use these RSS feeds?

Once you’ve got the RSS feeds you want to come back to, you’ll likely want to find an aggregator to view your feeds. Feed reader or aggregator software allow you to grab the RSS feeds from various sites and display them for you to read. Digg and Feedly are a good examples of an RSS readers but there are many for you to use. They all work pretty much the same. Typically they display your collection of RSS feeds in one place in an easy to organize and read fashion. Take a look at snapshot of both of my Digg and Feedly feeds.

feedly_digg.png

Both these services have easy web interfaces that allow you to effortlessly add subscriptions and organize data. There are also browser extensions that usually make adding a feed to your collection even easier. In the “old days,” people also used stand-alone applications such as their email programs or specialty RSS readers. With everything happening in the “cloud” these days, you see less and less stand-alone applications.

Another way RSS is used is aggregating feeds directly onto web sites. For example, a teacher can have a class web page and include feeds to various sources on the site. This way students always see fresh content on the class site and the teacher has an avenue to distribute appropriate content. Check out the Instructables RSS feed example I added on the sidebar of this site.

I already spend too much time online. How is this going to help me?

Using an aggregator will help consolidate the time you spend getting caught up with the content you find important. Instead of having to fish through email newsletters, you can check your aggregator and get everything in one place. Aside from cleaning your mailbox of all those annoying subscriptions, another benefit is being able to keep your privacy and no long need to use your email to subscribe to site specific content. 

How can RSS help me in the classroom?

Aside from being a 21st Century skill that students should be learning anyway, teachers can use RSS in the classroom wherever they want to organize content in relevant ways.. So like, all the time. 

Since my specialty is Technology Education, I looked for unconventional ways to use RSS. I came across Blog2Print, a service that will turn your blog into a book. This is a great foundation to teach an interdisciplinary lesson with the English department (or whoever else may be writing blogs in their classrooms). The idea being that the blog is being written in another class and then turned into a book in Graphics. The Blog2Print site does make the process pretty easy but there are details that will require graphical knowledge. Unfortunately, the service costs for this particular service will likely keep this idea from fruition in my school but I can already see ways to maybe create the books in-house.

howdoyouuserss

 

References

What Is RSS? RSS Explained – www.WhatIsRSS.com
Digg – What the Internet is talking about right now. – http://digg.com/
feedly: organize, read and share what matters to you. – http://feedly.com/index.html
YouTube –  https://www.youtube.com/
blog2print | Turn your blog into a timeless treasure. – blog2print

 

 

Posted in 5.1 Theoretical Foundations, AECT Standard 5 (Research)

Annotated Bibliography

“An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.” (Michael Engle, Cornell)

This week in EDTECH501 I explored the mechanics of writing an APA Annotated Bibliography. Resources such as the Purdue Online Writing Lab, Google Scholar, and various databases were used to research the topic of video games in the classroom. I kept my scope pretty broad and ended up reading many articles in a very short period of time. The program Zotero was used to organize and format my resources. This helped quite a bit by putting the information in the right order. I got a little flustered with the syntax of formatting the sources but I am happy with the results.

Check it out: Teaching with Video Games: An Annotated Bibliography.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 1.4 Managing

Creating my “first” web site

I really enjoyed week one of EDTECH502: Internet for Educators. This assignment was to create a basic web page using Dreamweaver and HTML and add some basic CSS.  While I have lots of experience building web sites/applications as a profession, I still enjoyed getting back to the basics with this weeks lessons. Being able to take a step back allowed me to take a look at features I have never taken advantage of within Dreamweaver. It also reminded me that I haven’t done this stuff in several years. I found it interesting to play with the different ways Dreamweaver handles tasks such as setting properties now vs how it was done last time I lived in the program.

All in all, like I’ve said, I really enjoyed this weeks homework and look forward to playing some more next week.

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome!

Welcome to my Boise State EDTECH Learning Log! This space will be used as a place to document my journey I will take while earning my M.E.T. with Boise State. Content such as artifacts, reflections, and documentations will live here.